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Garden tractor shuts down when you PTO on or release brake

I have a craftsman garden tractor,model 917276051.The eng.is ok but when I put the pto. on or release brake clutch Eng.will shut down.can you help.

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You have a safety switch or a relay malfunctioning. Try going to www.partsdirect.com, this is sears website. Look at the diagram to see how many safety switch on this unit. You may get lucky and replace one or you may have to replace all. I would look to see if it has a safety relay first, try replacing that first.

Posted on Sep 30, 2009

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Sounds to me like there is a problem with one of the safety switches. My wont mow in reverse and shuts off when i get off the mower. All designed to prevent accidents. I would check those.

Posted on Sep 30, 2009

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Sad to say it may have never been a bad pto clutch but probably safety switch problem. The running tractor wants you in the seat, brake off, levers over your lap and not backing up for the PTO to stay engaged . There is two push button switches on each lever that lay over your lap ,one on the parking brake,one under the seat. All of these switch wires meet at the PTO switch and all have to agree they are in the position they need to be in to allow electricity to come down the wire to the PTO Clutch.

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It is most likely the driver presence switch located under the seat. If the tractor has the brake set it will start and run without the driver in the seat. (PTO-off)

Releasing the brake requires a driver of sufficient weight to be in the seat for the tractor to continue to run. If the switch is defective the tractor even with driver inplace will stall. The PTO (mower deck must not be engaged).

Hope this helps?

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Mowers shuts off when I engage the pto switch, I jumped all of the safety switches,put new pto switch on, belt and pulleys are fine! Please help


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this one id look at the operators seat switch , maybe its not working like it should

seat switch's verify that operator is present in seat , like if you hit a bump and fell off it , it should shut down engine -so tractor is less likely to run you over

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While I was cutting grass the Engine shut down. Pulled the brake up. Push the PTO back down to shut the blades down. I started the engine, engine runs perfect.


try replacing the battery most with an electric clutch PTO have to have a really strong battery as the alternator system is not strong enough by itself

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With many of these Tractors, as part of the safety B.S., much of the electronics run through the PTO switch. Power to the ignition runs through the PTO.

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Be sure to check the back end of the seat switch wiring for loose or shorted wires. If the engine is shutting off when the brake pedal is released or the pto is engaged most likely the seat switch has failed. The seat switch connector has a shunt built into it. If the connector is not firmly plugged on the seat switch, it grounds out and when the clutch is released or the deck is engaged, the engine will die. Look closely at the connector and you will see a plunger that is pushed in when it is plugged on the seat switch. If the connector is on the seat switch securely, either the seat switch or the connector might be shorted internally. You need a meter to test this. The seat switch should read open when pushed. I hope this is helpful.

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